October 04, 2009

John 5.19-26

To this charge Jesus replied, "In truth, in very truth I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he does only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all his works (and will show greater yet, to fill you with wonder. As the Father raises the dead and gives them life; so the Son gives life to men, as he determines.

And again, the Father does not judge anyone, but has given full jurisdiction to the Son; it is his will that all should pay the same honor to the Son as to the Father. To deny honor to the Son is to deny it to the Father who sent him.

In very truth, anyone who gives heed to what I say and puts his faith in him who sent me has hold of eternal life--and does not come up for judgement, but has already passed from death to life.

In truth, in very truth I tell you, a time is coming (Indeed it is already here!) when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and all who hear shall come to life. For as the Father has life-giving power in himself, so has the Son, by the Father's gift.


At 11:30 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

Long ago, while quite young, I was led to reason: If God is our father, then we are all that Son (or Daughter, as the case may be.)

So we can read these parts in a spirit of worshiping Jesus as a demigod, speculating on his precise hierarchical relationship to God--or we can consider what this interpretation implies about us:

I can do nothing by myself, but when God is behind it, it happens.

God loves us and blows our minds, and gives us what energy we can live with.

["One tab of LSD is, by definition, more energy than one human being can handle" sayeth Stephen Gaskin. I certainly found it so, and though I several times found it illuminating, I used to think that if this were what being 'spiritual' was about, being Enlightened would be sheer Hell, and I would have to pass. I still don't think that having the intensity of one's experience turned all the way up was particularly desirable (or particularly spiritual) but it was an act of Grace, for the people we were at that time; it put us face to face with Overwhelming, jarred us out of our ruts, made God's hand at work disturbingly evident.

Anyway... if our present experience is limited, even tedious sometimes, that too is set by God, for our good.]

God doesn't judge us, but lets us decide what is right (and as Jesus says elsewhere, so far as we do that we place ourselves under our own judgement, alas!) We are to recognize ourselves as God's worthy creatures; to denigrate ourselves is an insult to our Maker. We are "sent," not merely here on our own.

So far as we put our faith in God, we can see the eternal nature of Life as it works in us. Even though we may be existing mechanically, 'on automatic,' successfully burying ourselves lest consciousness set in--the voice of God inside still has the power to wake us. It is not "our" power to use arbitrarily or heedlessly, but manifests God's power to nourish life around us.


At 8:25 a.m., Blogger Hystery said...

This is one of those pericopes in which the Johannine author seems almost Gnostic to me. Lots of Logos activity here. Salvation through gnosis and Logos as the one who makes that special knowledge available.

At 1:55 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Is this saying, then, "If you know, you'll be saved?" It looks more to me like: "If you've been saved, then you are able to put your faith in God; that's how you know that you have eternal life."

And my own take, of course, is "Of course your life is eternal (the only kind of life there can be) and if you 'know' God (not like knowing a fact, but like knowing a person) you can recognize the fact."

At 2:59 p.m., Blogger Hystery said...

The Gnostics didn't understand gnosis as the same as knowledge in the sense of knowing a fact in the modern sense but of wisdom received from the divine which one can't accept until one has relationship with the divine source. The Johannine author is not Gnostic but the writing is related.

Not sure where I'm going with this...

I guess I'm just throwing it out there for further help and commentary.


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